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How do I connect to Access on an external server via ODBC DSN in ASP?

vcbertini asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I am working on an ancient system that still uses ASP and Access as their respective platforms for web and data.  We operate across three different servers. Thing is, my web page is located on Server A and the database is located on Server C. I have created a DSN on Server C for the database, but am having trouble configuring the connection string to look for the DSN on that server. I keep getting the following error because it's looking for the DSN on Server A where it is not:

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'
[Microsoft][ODBC Driver Manager] Data source name not found and no default driver specified
/ccl/stuorgs.asp, line 228

I'm sure that I'm just not configuring something properly. I'm used to having the database on the same server on which I am working. Help!
set Conn = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")
Conn.Open "DATABASE=ccl; SERVER=xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx; DSN=ccl;UID=xxxx;Password=xxxx;"
set rs = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")
rs.Open SQL, Conn

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Scott McDaniel (EE MVE )Infotrakker Software
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Top Expert 2014

Why is your DSN on a different server than your ASP page? I'm not sure, but I don't think you can reference a DSN on a remote machine - but, again, I've never tried it.
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This is an architecture I inherited when I started working here. They have one hosted server (at Verio) that runs IIS - that is where the bulk of their website resides.  They also have two on-site servers that I think the original intent was to host the faculty web pages and also the intranet, but over the years they came to host some of the external web applications as well.  One server is secure (with a certificate) and one is not and both run IIS.  The database I need access to resides on the secure internal server and the web page I am modifying is on the remote, hosted web server. See my problem? I cannot move things around right now because we are on the verge of a major overhaul/consolidation so it's not really worth the effort at this point.
You can either set up a DSN on server A or use the code snippet to point to your Access database on server C.
-chuck wood


The DSN on sever A could only point to a database on server A, correct? or is it possible to point to another server? I'm not all that familiar with how those things work.
A DSN can point to a database on the local server but is often used to point to a database on another server.

DSN: Short for Data Source Name. Data Source Name provides connectivity to a database through an ODBC driver. The DSN contains database name, directory, database driver, UserID, password, and other information. Once you create a DSN for a particular database, you can use the DSN in an application to call information from the database.

There is also what is known as a "DSN-less connection." Instead of using a DSN to connect to a database, the developer specifies the necessary information right in the application. With a DSN-less connection the developer is free to use connection standards other than ODBC, such as OLE DB.

You can create a DSN on server A to point to the database on server C or you can use a DSN-less connection like the snippet I posted to point to the database on server C.
-chuck wood


This is the error I got when I tried to use the code above:

Microsoft JET Database Engine error '80004005'
Could not find installable ISAM.
/ccl/stuorgs.asp, line 229

I have not set any sharing permissions on the data folder - aren't there significant security ramifications to sharing a data folder?
You need for the web host administrators to fix their data components. See this article:

Yes, there are security ramifications but you just need to be careful. First, share the data folder using a name with a dollar sign (share$) so that it is not visible. Second, put onely Read permissions for the account that you ASP runs under.
- chuck wood


I haven't gotten it to work yet, but I understand the concept. Reconsidering this architecture where the remote DSN usage is even necessary. Thank you for your input.
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